|Whistler Access Issue - Resolved!|
The following is an email sent from Scott Nelson regarding the access issue to the backcountry area behind the Whistler Olympic Park:
I got an update yesterday from John Aalberg, the director of the Whistler Olympic Park. Please pass this on to everyone you know so we can spread the word.
Please follow the above rules or we may lose access priveledges. In particular, don't get caught skiing on an XC trail without the $6 ticket. If you really want to use the trail, $6 isn't much to ask.
Apparently the Whistler Olympic Park (WOP), the new Callaghan Nordic centre, is planning to charge $6.00 each per day for the privilege of skiing a 100 - 200 meters through their tenure area for backcountry skiers wishing to get to the backcountry beyond their CRA. To our knowledge this would be the only place in B.C. to charge a fee for backcountry skiers to cross/ exit the CRA of a commercial operator. Talks with VANOC through John Aalberg have been completely futile. The FMCBC are planning to apply under section 57 of the Forest and Range act for a designated access. Apparently WOP/VANOC do not actually have a tenure at the moment. Their permanent tenure is being considered now apparently without any public comment period. Their original application apparently included and promoted improved access to adjacent recreation areas. The Whistler ACC is sending the attached letter to ILMB opposing the tenure unless free access to the backcountry is entrenched in the tenure. Apparently it is a condition of Callaghan Country's tenure that they provide free access to Callaghan Lake Provincial Park. So this would be consistent with that.The significance of this is that there are 2 areas that are readily accessible from the new WOP parking areas with only a short 5-10 minute ski through the WOP to get into the adjacent backcountry and then access the Hanging Lake- Rainbow Lake/Mtn areas and the Beverly Creek area. See the attached map. Existing public trails are purple, backcountry trails are red. The red trail up Beverley Creek also provides public access to Madeley Lake via an existing section of the Rainbow Madeley Trail.
There aren't any fees to exit any areas in B.C. The same situation exists at Cypress and there is no charge for the free backcountry access permit. It is strictly for liability reasons. The backcountry access at Cypress goes right through the busiest part of the ski area and it is free. The distance is about the same as at WOP. Other ski areas provide free backountry access - Mt Washington, Mt Seymour, Manning Park, Shames Mtn (Terrace), Ski Smithers, Mt Baker.
The person who is considering giving them the tenure at the government is:
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